Now, I know you all know about my peanut butter obsession. I put it on nearly everything. But one thing I hadn’t combined it with before was brownies. Of course I’ve combined it with chocolate (in cake, cupcakes, and in ice cream), but not in chewy fudgy brownie form. Truly Appalling.
I immediately set out to remedy this awful fact. I looked at endless recipes online and in my large vegan cookbook collection, tried to come up with my own favorite brownie recipe, and worried over how I would add the peanut butter – it could be fully incorporated into the brownie batter for a double-whammy rich gooey brownie, it could be a completely separate layer on top (cake-like? a heavy frosting?), or I could swirl it in to partly incorporate it. After many nights staying up way too late obsessively researching vegan brownies, I realized I had the perfect Peanut Butter Swirl Brownie recipe right in front of me the whole time. Lois Dieterly’s Sinfully Vegan is a never-fail cookbook that has many types of brownies in it, and low-and-behold, she has a Peanut Butter Twist Brownie recipe! They are easy and the prep work goes quickly. I was especially impressed that this recipe doesn’t call for any oil! Dieterly has subbed applesauce into the batter, and the brownies still retain an incredibly rich and chewy texture. I know they have peanut butter on top and plenty of sugar in every layer, so they are not void of fat, but the applesauce made me feel like they were a little healthier…And they certainly satisfied my chocolate-peanut butter fix. The peanut butter mixture gets swirled into the brownie batter so it is somewhat incorporated, but still leaves a lovely sweet peanut butter layer on top after baking, so you can taste all the parts on their own.
I changed the recipe very slightly because I didn’t want to use tofu. I’ve printed my adapted recipe below.
Brownie Batter Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups granulated sweetener
3/4 cup applesauce (preferably organic)
2 Tblsp. water
2 tsp. ground flax seeds
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 cups unbleached white flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Topping:
1/2 cup all natural smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup unbleached white flour
Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat an 8×8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Stir together granulated sweetener, applesauce, and 2 Tablespoons water in a medium size bowl. In a small cup, mix ground flax seeds with 1/2 cup water. Add to applesauce mixture and stir to combine. Add vanilla to this mixture.
In another small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add applesauce mixture to flour mixture. Stir just to combine and pour into prepared pan. Place peanut butter, maple syrup, and flour into a blender or food processor.
Process until smooth. Drop by spoonfuls onto brownie batter. Using a knife, swirl the peanut butter into the brownie batter (be careful not to mix completely).
Bake for 40-45 minutes for chewy brownies.
Allow to cool before serving.